Norwood-Norfolk Central placed under brief lockdown after threat, which officials say was not credible
By ANDY GARDNER
NORWOOD -- Norwood-Norfolk Central was briefly locked down Tuesday morning after a potentially threatening message was found written in a high school bathroom.
A school official says the school was locked down at 10:35 a.m. after a student reported finding the threat.“About 40 minutes later we released them. Police determined it was a non-credible threat. Students, faculty, staff -- there’s no threat toward them at this time,” NNCS Superintendent Jamie Cruikshank said.
He said this may be somehow connected to recent incidents of perceived threats made at Lisbon and Canton schools, but he didn’t want to give out too many details that could compromise an ongoing police investigation.
“Recently, there’s been a lot of non-specific threats involving threats in the North Country. We didn’t escape,” he said. “I can’t get into details but this may be involved with a larger investigation.”
He did give out one detail about the note.
“It was written in a very small and inconspicuous place,” Cruikshank said.
There will be an increased police presence on school grounds in the coming days, the superintendent said.
“There will be an added police presence in the near future here at school to alleviate concerns,” Cruikshank said. “We have wonderful support from Norfolk Police Department and troopers in our area.”
He said the discovery of the threat triggered an immediate call to state police, and Norfolk police and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office also responded.
“Certainly the safety and security of our school and students is top priority and we err on the side of caution instead of just brushing it off,” the Norwood-Norfolk school chief said.
He said he appreciates the supportive response following the lockdown being initiated.
“I really appreciate the support. We had an outpouring of community support from parents and guardians thanking us for our action and going through the lockdown instead of brushing it aside,” according to Cruikshank.
This is not the first perceived threat made at a North Country school in recent days.
Lisbon Central School Superintendent Patrick Farrand on Tuesday said increased police presence and additional safety measures will be implemented in the wake of a social media scare that was proven unfounded by state police.
The scare stemmed from a social media message that included first names and mentioned “a game” but did not include a direct threat to students or the school. However, swirling rumors caused concern among students after the school requested police to investigate the matter. Police said the alleged threats were unfounded.
A Canton high school student was removed from school grounds on Tuesday. Canton police department was called in to investigate allegedly threatening remarks made by the student.
A statement issued by school superintendent William Gregory the same day said school officials learned of past remarks allegedly made by the student to other students, wherein the student alluded to harming others.